A familiar face to farmers’ market shoppers in San Diego is Phil Noble. "Farmer Phil" has been raising cattle for about nine years for family and friends. Farmer Phil has also become "Rancher Phil" by launching Sage Mountain Beef CSA, San Diego's premiere and only Green-Fed™ beef CSA and store.
“It’s a natural progression for us,” Noble says. “We’ve always raised our own animals, but now we have an infusion of capital through a private investor so we can breed our own cattle and take them to market.”
Sage Mountain Beef will be starting with 20 Black Angus calves. These cattle will have a different flavor profile than any other beef on the market, given their diet. “These animals eat better than most people,” Noble says with a laugh. “Because we raise produce, they get a lot of our crop. They eat a lot of watermelon, eggplant, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. We let them eat crops of summer squash and our certified organic wheat.”
Rancher Phil plans to sell the beef to his CSA members, at farmers’ markets and to restaurants. He already has relationships with several restaurants, including Sea Rocket Bistro and The Linkery, which buy his organic produce.
Noble credits the farmers’ markets for giving him the opportunity to meet people and get the name out. He expects to experience the same success with his meat venture as he’s had with his produce, given the growing interest the public has in what they buy and eat. “People want to know where their food is coming from and are asking a lot more questions, and as a result are better informed.”